on the 26th of July 2020 man united beat Leicester City to confirm their spot in this season’s Champions League not only did this secure vital revenue during the most testing financial period in football’s modern history but also gave fans hope that the club would secure their top transfer targets namely Jadon Sancho

the English winger had long been tipped for a return to the Premier League after an outstanding first season for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and speculation only grew in the 2019-20 campaign by the beginning of the summer transfer Fabrizio Romano had confirmed that Sancho was keen on a move to United and that agreeing personal terms wouldn’t be an issue, all the club needed to do was settle a price with Dortmund and Sancho would be heading to Old Trafford but almost four months down the line and with the window shut the young star is still in Germany and the red devils have missed out on one of the most exciting players in world football but how did they fail to land their man let’s take a look

Manchester united’s strategy in the transfer market has rightly received its fair share of criticism over the years since the Fellaini fiasco of 2013 very rarely has the club not overpaid for one of its targets and they have often missed out of them altogether the result of selling clubs sticking an extra premium on players they are interested in and a tendency from united to hold out until the final days of the window before concluding business some see this trend as CEO Ed Woodward and chief negotiator Matt Judge being incompetent while an unnamed agent told the athletic it has much more to do with micromanagement from the club’s owners with Joel Glazer taking some persuading before giving the go-ahead on signings and information traveling slowly through the club’s chain of command

whoever’s to blame united’s poor strategy in the market continued with their pursuit of Sancho in July Dortmund confirmed their 120 million euro valuation of him setting an august the 10th deadline for a deal to be done by the start of the next month the transfer looked close with romano revealing that negotiations between the two clubs were at an advanced stage and other reports suggesting Sancho had agreed a five-year contract

but within days united were back to square one their hopes of agreeing on a structured deal worth around 100 million euros were scuppered Dortmund’s deadline came and went with no sign of Sancho kicking up a fuss and sporting director Michael Zork confirmed he would be staying at the Westfalenstadion adding that the club had effectively extended the players contract until 2023 the previous summer contrary to the popular belief that it was due to expire in 2022.

despite a late move for him in the final week of the window BVB never budged from their position and united failed to complete a deal but while many fans can’t understand why one of the richest clubs in the world couldn’t make up the 20 million euros needed to secure a generational talent it’s not as mad as you might think

like other clubs man united were hit hard financially by coronavirus in may it was confirmed their debts had risen by 127 million pounds and they are understood to have lost around 5 million pounds per match day from fans not being allowed in Old Trafford considering matchday revenue made up around 18 of united’s total earnings in 2018-19 with only arsenal more reliant on gate receipts in the premier league that is a worry especially with no return date currently set for supporters in stadiums

some reports suggest the red devils could lose over a hundred million pounds by the end of 2020 more or less the fee needed to get Sancho out of Dortmund while this will go on and no sympathy from fans of smaller clubs whose very existence is at stake as a result of the pandemic it does help explain why Joel Glaser had reservations about smashing the club’s transfer record this summer,

especially when they struggled to sell players during the window too with the future of spectator sport still unclear spending the extra money on Sancho was clearly considered too big a risk by the club’s owners however missing out on a player like him may well represent a much bigger loss to the club in years to come so that was why manchester united failed to buy Jadon Sancho.